Correction, Nov. 30 at 5:28 p.m.: The author of this column has jeopardized the atmosphere of inclusivity at this university and will no longer be published in The University Star.
We screwed up.
As editors, we allowed a hateful column to be published and hurt our community that deserves better. Texas State is a place where every student should feel safe learning and growing.
This is a student-run independent newspaper that enjoys the full rights and responsibilities of the First Amendment. Our newsroom is a learning space that gives us the ability to grow into our profession. It is a place where we make decisions and live by their consequences. The author of the column has jeopardized the atmosphere of inclusivity at this university. We have taken action and fired the individual.
Since the column’s publication, we have received hate mail and numerous death threats. Additionally, there have been calls for several members of The University Star to resign with individuals threatening to defund the student publication if demands are not met. We have received a lot of constructive feedback that, as students, is invaluable to us.
Texas State is a university that is dedicated to providing opportunities for growth to its students. Student media, such as The Star, provides indispensable experience to take with us beyond our undergraduate careers and into the real world.
We fully acknowledge the repercussions of our actions in allowing for such an incendiary and divisive column to make it into print. We were unequivocally wrong in printing it. It was neither constructive nor appropriate. We failed our readership and damaged Texas State’s profound tradition of inclusivity. Although it will take time and hard work to restore, that tradition is something that we will work tirelessly to uphold and rebuild.
One of our former editors and President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson put it best: “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
Moving forward, we fully intend to win the battle against divisiveness, one that we unfortunately helped fuel. We intend to foster community and a more positive atmosphere on campus through the same platform from which we have been doing so since 1911.
The University Star is here to stay, but not without making necessary changes to ensure that our core values will not be overlooked again. In the following days, we will be developing comprehensive plans to guarantee that the upcoming semesters are guided by truth, transparency and diversity of thought.
In these plans we will create more rigorous guidelines that all content must meet in order to be published, and we will create points and methods of oversight to make sure that all content is more critically edited. We, as student journalists, strive to become better in our profession and believe taking these measures is the right thing to do.
We invite the community that we respect so dearly to join us in this process, and will be making plans accessible to the public for feedback and conversation. In our next issue– which can include in print or online– we will publish letters to the editor in regards to the column.
The University Star Editorial Board